Much of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) $40 billion in revenues comes from advertising. So, the company is definitely concerned about emerging ad-blocking software.
Consider that last week a French Internet service provider called Free started using the technology, making it available for roughly 5.2 million subscribers.
As expected, the move caused a firestorm. Could the Internet’s ad-based business model be in jeopardy?
Well, it looks like Google has some pull in France. Somehow it was able to get the French government to put pressure on Free. And yes, the company agreed to drop its use of ad-blocking software.
However, this may wind up being a Pyrrhic victory. After all, any Internet user can use ad-blocking software. For example, AdBlock Plus counts over 40 million users. The company also recently built a version for mobile devices.
True, the app doesn’t eliminate all ads — only those that are deemed “intrusive.” AdBlock may ultimately prove to be a way to root out spam.
Still, that’s not much consolation for companies like Google, which won’t willingly give up valuable revenue.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook” and “High-Profit IPO Strategies: Finding Breakout IPOs for Investors and Traders.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.